By Christy Barritt
“Stomp on Jesus” Lesson Brings Criticism to University
Earlier this year, a professor at a Florida university instructed his students to write the name of Jesus on a paper, place it on the floor, and then stomp on it.
After receiving nationwide criticism when word of the assignment leaked, Florida Atlantic University issued a formal apology on its website.
“This exercise will not be used again,” their statement read. “The University holds dear its core values. We sincerely apologize for any offense this caused.”
One student reported that he was suspended from the Intercultural Communications class for refusing to participate in this assignment, though the university refutes that claim.
The professor said the exercise was meant to encourage debate.
Largest Denominations in U.S.
The Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches released their yearly data on churches and denominations across North America. According to their report, there are 15 denominations leading the way in membership. The top five are:
1. Southern Baptist Convention at 16.2 million members
2. The United Methodist Church at 7.8 million members
3. The Church of God in Christ at 5.5 million members
4. The National Baptist Convention at 5.0 million members
5. Evangelical Lutheran Church, U.S.A. at 4.5 million members.
Churches of Christ came in at number 13 with 1.6 million members.
Strictest Abortion Law in Country Approved by ND Governor
One of the nation’s most restrictive bans on abortion has been signed into law in North Dakota by Governor Jack Dalrymple. The state law makes abortions illegal once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can happen as early as six weeks into pregnancy.
The governor also signed into law a ban against abortion based on genetic defects such as Down Syndrome. A third measure he endorsed requires doctors performing abortions to be certified physicians with hospital admission privileges.
Doctors caught performing abortions after six weeks of pregnancy could face a felony charge punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 penalty, while the woman receiving the abortion would not be punished.
The new law offers no exception for abortion in cases of rape, incest, or health of the mother. Legal challenges are anticipated.
Majority of Americans Own a Bible
A new study from the Barna Group shows that 88 percent of U.S. households own a copy of the Bible and that the average number of Bibles in each home is 4.4. However, only 26 percent of those reported to own a Bible admitted to reading it.
The study also addressed people’s comprehension of the Bible and whether or not one needs a degree in order to understand it. Boomers, or those age 48-66, and elders, those 67 and older, strongly disagree that only people who have years of intense training in theology can interpret the Bible correctly. This means that the majority of those with Bibles believe that God’s Word is accessible to the common person and does not need extensive training for interpretation.
The survey collected data from 1,005 adults.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.